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Ambush Marketing And The Law – Be Careful And Stay Out Of Jail

Ambush Marketing  – Marketing and the Law A Recent CIM Event

Ambush marketing some classic examples

Ambush marketing is defined by the Macmillan English Dictionary as “a marketing strategy in which a competing brand connects itself with a major sporting event without paying sponsorship fee”. So lets consider some of the real life examples of ambush activities in action

  • 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. For this major sporting event Fuji (the camera manufacturer) were a major official sponsor. There major competitor ran prime time adverts during the Olympics and sponsored a specific team. Classic ambush marketing in that through the advertising it blurred the lines for the customer as to who was the official sponsor
  • 2010 World cup in South Africa and Budweiser the brewer was a main sponsor. Dutch brewer Bavaria performed some very creative (getting 36 very good looking, orange mini clad wearing supporters into key matches – where they got featured on the television. the outfits were designed by Bavaria and later offered for sale.
  • 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The official sponsor for the games was Reebok. Linford Christie the 100 metre runner attended a press conference wearing Puma contact lenses. needless to say the next day in all the newspapers were pictures of Linford Christie with the Puma logo
Ambush Marketing

So while ambush marketing may be seen as

  • Clever – some of the ideas are truely innovative to overcome the various rules and guidelines
  • Light hearted – in the case of the beer and contact lenses a definite case of making people smile
  • Cheeky – with a David v ersus Goliath approach of a smaller company taking on an international force
  • A great lower cost way of increasing brand awareness,

Ambush Marketing Health Warning – it may potentially result in brand damage, civil law suits and at worst criminal prosecutions

The Chartered Institute of Marketing have produced a fantastic information booklet which covers both ambush marketing issues and looks at implications of the Olympics act. To find out more about ambush marketing click here Andrew Goode an experienced marketing professional. To see other marketing examples click here

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